BioForLife

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2014
168
85
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
Hey everyone. So I'm currently in my second semester at dental school and in a dilemma. I'm doing pretty well in my classes, and finding that I can keep up with them fine. However, lab is basically kicking my butt. I spend tons of time in the lab (some faculty even tell me that they have never seen anyone spend so much time in there in my year) and despite my best efforts, I'm always behind in lab and just failed my first practical. I just don't know what to do. From the start, I've always just been scraping by in lab and it seems like no matter how much I practice, I'm among the weakest in my group. Should I look into something else I know I'm good at or keep going? Does it really get better or am I stuck on a path of mediocrity in dental school/dentistry? I don't think it's worth it to keep going if I'm going to end up being a so-so dentist if there are so many more qualified people out there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

ncide

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
1,353
1,463
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
About 40% of my class failed their first practical. Keep practicing and hopefully you'll do better.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Cold Front

Supreme Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
2,816
2,654
Ohio
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Keep going. You may not know it, but your dexterity has improved from the first time you were in lab. It's not always about how much better you can get, but also how much you have improved. Don't let fear get in your way, dental school is full of subjective people, specially the faculty. I had my fair share of bad grades in lab, but I still graduated on time and did just fine since.

Keep going.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users
About the Ads

Faux

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,983
1,538
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Waxing C
Direct I composite : C

Nothing higher than 76 in either classes. Even failed the last waxing practical. Always the slowest in my entire row, when it came to practicals and sign offs. Kept beating my self up, feeling sorry for myself and kept thinking this wasn't for me.

Then I took indirect and a lot of it clicked for me. Ended up with a 89.4, so close to an A. Most practicals I had 90s/100s. Passed the practical where almost half the class failed, with a 90. There came a time where I was two months ahead with sign offs, a faculty even joked around that I was about to finish the whole course in Oct, I could of too if I just woke up one weekend and committed.

Direct II amalgam, ended with a 89.0, with most of my high grades based on my preps.

Removable 1, ended with a solid B(83ish). Even did extremely well on one of the practicals where majority of the class failed. Other two practicals, had one N on each , with mostly Es on everything. Would have gotten an A if I was a bit more careful on those two.

Indirect helped me a lot with my hand skills. It teaches you control, rhythm, balance, and pedal control. It got the point where I completely stopped using my slow speed for preps and did everything with the high speed. I practiced maybe two times for every practical, for both indirect and direct II. Thats how much more confident I got.


Practice, but don't over do it. Get consistent feedback. Watch youtube videos. Use your instruments, use your mirror. Be patient, it'll come to you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users

ncide

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
1,353
1,463
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
OP I am a strong proponent of high mag loupes. You can't prep well if you can't see well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Advance

DDS
7+ Year Member
May 9, 2014
1,822
2,734
Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Hey everyone. So I'm currently in my second semester at dental school and in a dilemma. I'm doing pretty well in my classes, and finding that I can keep up with them fine. However, lab is basically kicking my butt. I spend tons of time in the lab (some faculty even tell me that they have never seen anyone spend so much time in there in my year) and despite my best efforts, I'm always behind in lab and just failed my first practical. I just don't know what to do. From the start, I've always just been scraping by in lab and it seems like no matter how much I practice, I'm among the weakest in my group. Should I look into something else I know I'm good at or keep going? Does it really get better or am I stuck on a path of mediocrity in dental school/dentistry? I don't think it's worth it to keep going if I'm going to end up being a so-so dentist if there are so many more qualified people out there.
Keep going, you're only a D1, your skills can only get better from here. Remember, as long as you pass your classes and exams you're competent enough to practice dentistry wether you make all A's or all C's. Don't give up!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
F

fogorvostan

You recommend 3.5x?
At our school, we are all required to 3.5x and I love it. I also spent the extra to get EF and I couldn't imagine not having it. Worth every penny in my opinion.

If you don't have requirements, it's worth finding out what your faulty uses when they grade. If they use 3.5x and you're using 2.5x, then you are at a disadvantage in my opinion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

ncide

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
1,353
1,463
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
You recommend 3.5x?

Yeah at a minimum. I have 4.3x and I still have thoughts in the back of my head that I should have gone for 4.8x. :hilarious:

I had an endodontic resident pull me aside today to ask me what magnification my loupes are, and after I told him, he said he wished he hadn't gotten 2.5x and started up higher when he got started in dental school. It's easier to become accustomed to them if you start early on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Advance

DDS
7+ Year Member
May 9, 2014
1,822
2,734
Texas
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Yeah at a minimum. I have 4.3x and I still have thoughts in the back of my head that I should have gone for 4.8x. :hilarious:
And I'm over here doing my preps with no loupes. Maybe it's time I invest in a pair lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Incis0r

I LOVE Dental School
5+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2014
4,642
6,163
Alterac Valley
Yeah at a minimum. I have 4.3x and I still have thoughts in the back of my head that I should have gone for 4.8x. :hilarious:

I had an endodontic resident pull me aside today to ask me what magnification my loupes are, and after I told him, he said he wished he hadn't gotten 2.5x and started up higher when he got started in dental school. It's easier to become accustomed to them if you start early on.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

ncide

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
1,353
1,463
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Thank you!

Do you recommend a brand?

A dental student was giving me a tour of her school. I trust her opinion a lot and I asked her for loupes recommendations. She told me 3.5x with Orascoptic.

Do you have a similar viewpoint with Orascoptic?

I have Orascoptic 4.3x. Their optical qualities are one of the best (not as good as Zeiss). Get your class to form a group order for Lumadent's "best value" package and you'll get a powerful light with two batteries that run on 10 hour charges.

As a heads up, these companies have different definitions for magnification so 4.3x on Orascoptic and Surgitel is more like 3.5x on Designs for Vision. Try them all out and see what you like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

Incis0r

I LOVE Dental School
5+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2014
4,642
6,163
Alterac Valley
I have Orascoptic 4.3x. Their optical qualities are one of the best (not as good as Zeiss). Get your class to form a group order for Lumadent's "best value" package and you'll get a powerful light with two batteries that run on 10 hour charges.

As a heads up, these companies have different definitions for magnification so 4.3x on Orascoptic and Surgitel is more like 3.5x on Designs for Vision. Try them all out and see what you like.

Thank you for your time!
 
Last edited:

schmoob

Full Member
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
3,012
4,725
Hey everyone. So I'm currently in my second semester at dental school and in a dilemma. I'm doing pretty well in my classes, and finding that I can keep up with them fine. However, lab is basically kicking my butt. I spend tons of time in the lab (some faculty even tell me that they have never seen anyone spend so much time in there in my year) and despite my best efforts, I'm always behind in lab and just failed my first practical. I just don't know what to do. From the start, I've always just been scraping by in lab and it seems like no matter how much I practice, I'm among the weakest in my group. Should I look into something else I know I'm good at or keep going? Does it really get better or am I stuck on a path of mediocrity in dental school/dentistry? I don't think it's worth it to keep going if I'm going to end up being a so-so dentist if there are so many more qualified people out there.
It's VERY easy to get discouraged, it's tough.
Use your resources. Reach out to an upperclassmen to sit down with you and help with techniques. Maybe talk to your advisor and see if they can set you up with someone if you don't know who to ask. Reach out to your classmates, I'm sure there are no shortage of folks who will be happy to help you. Don't try figuring it out alone.
Is there one particular aspect of it that you're having a hard time with? Maybe try posting it here, I'm sure there are plenty of students here who have experienced similar difficulties and can give their tips on how to overcome it.
You've made it this far, you would be so disappointed in yourself if you decided to not keep going. Do your best and give it your all, this way there are no regrets. For all you know it can just *click,* and suddenly you're a stud because all your hours of practice and late nights in the lab start paying off.
Good luck on the next one!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

LaughingGas

Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
1,893
701
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
IMO those practical grades are very subjective. And as everyone said, just keep going. Real tooth is so much easier to drill than those plastic tooth. Hand skills will come the more practice. Just get help from faculties or upperclassmen. At least you are doing well in didactic courses, which will put you in advantage when it comes to diagnosing and treatment planning. I've met people that they don't know why they are doing x,y,z....
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

setdoc7

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 29, 2006
1,510
1,140
New York
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
This thread is a cautionary tale of how some schools have reached into the 21st century, and others are still teaching the way I learned dentistry. If the sim lab were equipped with a digital scanner which was programmed for each ideal wax up and prep, you could sit all night practicing and after each scan know exactly what shortfalls occurred and and correct them appropriately. Row instructor subjective analysis is just that, subjective.
Think about it. Once the Eagle Eye was put in at the US Open, there were no more McEnroe style rants about whether a ball was in or out. If your wax ups and preps were scanned by the impartial computer, everyone would prep nearly the same.
IMHO, all schools should employ the aforementioned method of grading. Impartial, non subjective, fair grading. I believe it will increase the learning and hand eye coordination curve.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

schmoob

Full Member
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
3,012
4,725
This thread is a cautionary tale of how some schools have reached into the 21st century, and others are still teaching the way I learned dentistry. If the sim lab were equipped with a digital scanner which was programmed for each ideal wax up and prep, you could sit all night practicing and after each scan know exactly what shortfalls occurred and and correct them appropriately. Row instructor subjective analysis is just that, subjective.
Think about it. Once the Eagle Eye was put in at the US Open, there were no more McEnroe style rants about whether a ball was in or out. If your wax ups and preps were scanned by the impartial computer, everyone would prep nearly the same.
IMHO, all schools should employ the aforementioned method of grading. Impartial, non subjective, fair grading. I believe it will increase the learning and hand eye coordination curve.
I agree that something like that would be useful in identifying errors and standardizing grading to remove potential for subjectivity.
My opinion though, is that it would simply be an additional tool in the teaching process. The faculty are expected to identify our mistakes first, followed by teaching techniques on how to avoid or correct those errors. Such a tool would not be able to accomplish the latter.
 

Faux

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,983
1,538
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
This thread is a cautionary tale of how some schools have reached into the 21st century, and others are still teaching the way I learned dentistry. If the sim lab were equipped with a digital scanner which was programmed for each ideal wax up and prep, you could sit all night practicing and after each scan know exactly what shortfalls occurred and and correct them appropriately. Row instructor subjective analysis is just that, subjective.
Think about it. Once the Eagle Eye was put in at the US Open, there were no more McEnroe style rants about whether a ball was in or out. If your wax ups and preps were scanned by the impartial computer, everyone would prep nearly the same.
IMHO, all schools should employ the aforementioned method of grading. Impartial, non subjective, fair grading. I believe it will increase the learning and hand eye coordination curve.

We've had cad cam technology here at buffalo for our indirect class. Its been a huge help and all of my preclinical grades have jumped as well.

The D1s are now starting to use it for waxing and direct. I wish I had it then. Incredibly useful tool to get a foundation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

distressstudent

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2013
1,059
957
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Waxing C
Direct I composite : C

Nothing higher than 76 in either classes. Even failed the last waxing practical. Always the slowest in my entire row, when it came to practicals and sign offs. Kept beating my self up, feeling sorry for myself and kept thinking this wasn't for me.

Then I took indirect and a lot of it clicked for me. Ended up with a 89.4, so close to an A. Most practicals I had 90s/100s. Passed the practical where almost half the class failed, with a 90. There came a time where I was two months ahead with sign offs, a faculty even joked around that I was about to finish the whole course in Oct, I could of too if I just woke up one weekend and committed.

Direct II amalgam, ended with a 89.0, with most of my high grades based on my preps.

Removable 1, ended with a solid B(83ish). Even did extremely well on one of the practicals where majority of the class failed. Other two practicals, had one N on each , with mostly Es on everything. Would have gotten an A if I was a bit more careful on those two.

Indirect helped me a lot with my hand skills. It teaches you control, rhythm, balance, and pedal control. It got the point where I completely stopped using my slow speed for preps and did everything with the high speed. I practiced maybe two times for every practical, for both indirect and direct II. Thats how much more confident I got.


Practice, but don't over do it. Get consistent feedback. Watch youtube videos. Use your instruments, use your mirror. Be patient, it'll come to you.
What do you mean you "took" indirect?


Are you talking about a course in indirect vision or indirect restoration? Curious how it was able to turn things around for you so much
 
Last edited:

znny19

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2011
266
32
NYC
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Hey everyone. So I'm currently in my second semester at dental school and in a dilemma. I'm doing pretty well in my classes, and finding that I can keep up with them fine. However, lab is basically kicking my butt. I spend tons of time in the lab (some faculty even tell me that they have never seen anyone spend so much time in there in my year) and despite my best efforts, I'm always behind in lab and just failed my first practical. I just don't know what to do. From the start, I've always just been scraping by in lab and it seems like no matter how much I practice, I'm among the weakest in my group. Should I look into something else I know I'm good at or keep going? Does it really get better or am I stuck on a path of mediocrity in dental school/dentistry? I don't think it's worth it to keep going if I'm going to end up being a so-so dentist if there are so many more qualified people out there.

It does get better. I was in the same boat as you, doing well didactically but was ok during D1 GDS. I am a d4 now at NYU so I obviously made it lol. Keep practicing itll eventually click. Ask the TAs for help, they can give you some tips and tricks or tell you what you are doing wrong. I would offer to help myself but licensing exams are coming up and I'm in a scramble to find patients.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Faux

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,983
1,538
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
What do you mean you "took" indirect?


Are you talking about a course in indirect vision or indirect restoration? Curious how it was able to turn things around for you so much

Indirect restorations. As I said before it just helped me with establish proper control with the high speed hand piece. Occlusion reduction varies among different crowns, finish line margins vary between different crowns, not only in width but in types too. Bevels vary, the concept of TOC/proper degree tapper. Even smoothness alone requires a very steady hand. We were also tested on cad cam and had part of our practicals graded based on the master prep on the computers. So we had to be pretty exact.

All those class attributes taught me to be more steady with the hand piece, to control the pedal, to be steady and have balanced strokes. When to be more aggressive and when to be more patient .
 

Greyangel6

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2013
342
285
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Identify your problems first. Then find someone who's decent/good at it and ask them to show you how they do it. Try their ways. Modify it as needed.

I also find it helpful to keep a journal. I personally keep a preclinic procedure notebook. I start with writing the criteria/steps for the procedure. Then every time I practice, I write down my mistakes (ones I can see and ones instructors/TAs/classmates point out) and the next time I practice, I make sure I don't make those mistakes. And if possible, I write down the solutions I tried and highlight the things that work. This journal helped me learn how to identify mistakes (I was terrible at first!) and also taught me how to do a procedure my way. And it also helps those trying to help you see where you're at, so they can best help you!

Best of luck to you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

setdoc7

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 29, 2006
1,510
1,140
New York
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
I agree that something like that would be useful in identifying errors and standardizing grading to remove potential for subjectivity.
My opinion though, is that it would simply be an additional tool in the teaching process. The faculty are expected to identify our mistakes first, followed by teaching techniques on how to avoid or correct those errors. Such a tool would not be able to accomplish the latter.
My point precisely. The subjective faculty is identifying the "error". As a board examiner, I can assure you that the "faculty" is not calibrated daily, and what passes as acceptable for one will be unacceptable to another. The computer only needs to be recalibrated when the school standard is changed. Once again I call for dental education to be both standardized and brought into the 21st century.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

ncide

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
1,353
1,463
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
My point precisely. The subjective faculty is identifying the "error". As a board examiner, I can assure you that the "faculty" is not calibrated daily, and what passes as acceptable for one will be unacceptable to another. The computer only needs to be recalibrated when the school standard is changed. Once again I call for dental education to be both standardized and brought into the 21st century.

We used a computer to grade our preps and give suggestions along the way (http://image-navigation.com/). At the end of the semester hardly anyone liked it. It's alright for simple preparations, but the technology isn't quite there for more complex ones.

I prefer subjective faculty. A great prep is going to look great to (almost) anyone. It's the ones that aren't great that you tend to see more variation in critique. Some doctors are more lenient than others. Some are not going to accept mediocrity and are going to push you to be a better clinician. It can be frustrating, for sure, especially when you have didactics to study for and a list of preps that slowly grow that need to be passed off.

But they all offer a unique lens to their critique, and they all offer new ways to solve a problem that they've gathered along the way in their careers. You can't get that with a computer.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

hellopeople

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2008
654
82
Michigan
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
I was terrible in lab. Just terrible. My first molar wax up looked like a bungalow style house. My first crown prep looked like I tried to prep with a 256 carbide.
You'll get better. It just takes awhile if you didn't happen to have the dexterity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

BioForLife

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2014
168
85
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone. I've since had 3 more practicals and have passed all of them. I think I was just too quick to assume I wouldn't be able to handle it. :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users
About the Ads
This thread is more than 4 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.